Anyone who serves God effectively has to have two important qualities: courage and caution. They have to be willing to die for Jesus but determined not to do anything careless that might end their ministry early. Without courage a person won't follow where God leads; without caution a person will create so much trouble for themselves that they have to stop. Caution is the careful analysis of a situation before taking the first step, and for a disciple of Jesus Christ that means earnestly seeking God's will and listening to the guidance of His Spirit. It means not acting until He says it's time and not holding back when He tells us to move forward. Everything depends upon hearing God clearly and refusing to move until we have.
This combination of courage and caution is what Jesus was modeling for us when He decided to return to a dangerous place. That trip to Bethany could easily have been His last. If we look only at the outward circumstances, He was being reckless. And that's exactly what His disciples were trying to tell Him. He had barely escaped with His life only months earlier. Why, they asked, would He go back to a place where His enemies were waiting to arrest Him? He would not likely escape being stoned this time. Yet He went back to Bethany, and His disciples, gloomily deciding to die with Him, followed along. Why did He deliberately go into danger? We need to understand, because He still leads us into dangerous places.